Sunday, July 5, 2009

Drumline, Summer Band Camp and More ...

It's that time of year when high school drummers start preparing for the workout of their lives. It's time to get into shape and your skills honed. Wanna be the best you can be? Enroll with a private instructor in your area.

Diddles, flams, cheeses and rolls are some of the skills you'll need to compete in this arena of drumming. Repetitive warmups to build equal responses in both upper limbs all the while keeping time with the feet.

I'll add one more important step to being the best you can be ... mental attitude. You need to crave, desire, lust, want to be a champion. This is the only way to drive yourself to greatness and commit to practicing.

So, with your goals and a coach/instructor, you can be the best you can be.

Good luck with your goals.

Kenneth Ray Sword Jr
Drum and Percussion writer and instructor for Catoctin High School Band and Walkersville High School Band in Frederick County, Md. Private Instructor at Music & Arts Center in Frederick, Md.
Call the store for available lesson times.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Watch here for assignments Walkersville and Catoctin High Schools

Hello students,

Students with Walkersville High School Marching Band drumline and Catoctin High School Marching Band drumline can catch schedules, practice material and other what-nots I will be dishing out for training.

Be sure to get your copy of Row-Loff Production's "The Drummers Daily Drill" for fundamentals training.

Stick/Mallet needs will be Innovative Percussion's FS-1 Field Snare sticks and Innovative Percussion's FP-2 Fundamental Education Package. These are required for full training to become a quality competing drumline for your school and for your own drumming education.

Watch here daily for upcoming news.

Ray Sword

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Art Avila and Eastwood High School

Well we got off to a busy start with the eve of percussion ensemble season rehearsals and of course jazz band 1, and newly acquired jazz 2, under the direction of John Oman. This year I had three competitive perc. ens's.: ENS III performed a piece by Nathan Daugherty called "Shock Factor", ENS II performed "Stratus" by Chris Crockarell, and my top ENS I performed "Stained Glass" by David R. Gillingham. Stained was a first for me to conduct and put together, WOW what a hard score! The kids did well: Both ENS I, and II received !st divisions at UIL and advanced to state level upon which ENS I brought home the !st Division at State! The groups went on to compete at the UTEP Percussion Festival judged by J.B. Smith, Fred Bugbee, and Mark Grimm. Ens I & II received !st divisions and ENS III a 2nd Division. Overall a GREAT percussion ensemble season, and I'm very proud of the kids.
JAZZ season was a blast, with the addition of JAZZ II, a first at EHS. I conduct the top group, and we pulled off a sweet program this year, one of my best programs in a while. We chose Azulito a Ray Santos, a HOT salsa chart made famous by Mario Bauza, we threw in elements of Son Montuno and Bomba for an intense rhythm section fueled by choreographed salsa dancing from the entire wind section, ending with the most powerfull fermatta ending you can imagine sealed by a dancing clave player tossing a clave up in the air and catching signaling the release of the note! ; a Gordon Goodwin chart called The Phat Pack, ooh what a greasy, phat blues, enough said!; and finally a trumpet suite entitled "Spanish Steps" by Steve Spiegl, featuring our 1st Chair All-State Jazz Trumpet, Steven Beatrice. The Jazz bands competed at the Hanks Jazz Festival on March 13th and 14th, bringing home 4th place out of 42 entries! Steven was awarded outstanding trumpet soloist.
As for myself, I was invited to play auxiliary percussion for El Paso's Eklectic Jazz Band under the direction of Dr. Willie Hill, from UMAS. We were fortunate enough to share the stage with Alto Saxophonist, Dave Pietro, and Al Herman, "world's fastest trombone player", who has played with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, and Tony Bennet! A M A Z I N G experience! I am currently in the planning stages for the Second Annual, EHS/YISD Sun City Throwdown, tentatively to be held the first Saturday in November of 2009. I already have two judges confirmed, Mr. and Mrs. Matt and Amy Savage are coming down to our Sun City for a second round of the drum line battles.
On the immediate forefront, EHS Concert Bands and Jazz Band I will be traveling to San Antonio, Texas for Music Festivals in the Parks, tearing up parks like Six Flags over Texas, and Sea World from April 15-18; we are near UIL Band Contest to be held May 5 & 6, and beyond that to help close out the academic school year, we are heading towards our big percussion grand finale of the year, the 6th Annual Percussion Extravaganza, to be held on May 30th. Somewhere in the midst of all this activity, I have also begun the "7CAMPS" audition process for next year's drum line, including our upcoming freshman. Whew!
Uh...should have played flute!....uh...NOT!

Long live Maynard!
Art Avila, Jr.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Donate your musical instruments

Donate your old musical instruments for the musical kids of today and tomorrow. We are looking to help young minds grow and music does the trick. Our goal is to give as many children the option to study music and you can help us help those young ones and programs that need help getting what they need, too.

It doesn't matter what condition the instrument is in we will take it, even if it's just for parts. We'll be glad to give you a reciept of value for your donation so you can claim it on your taxes.

We won't turn down any donation, even if it's in pieces. Mouthpieces, ligatures, reeds, drumsticks, music stands, cases, full and partial brass and wind instruments, drum shells, hoops, lugs, mallet frames, resonators, harnesses, marching equipment and supplies, old tympani, xylophones, bells, hand bells, keyboards, recorders, whatever. Help music education to help the youth that don't otherwise have a chance to learn music.

Don't have an instrument to donate? Give us a cash donation of $1, $5, $10 or whatever you can afford to give and remember to write off your donation(s) on your taxes.

Address and donate links will soon be available.

Discounted drumheads

Discounted drumheads.

We have acquired a load of drum heads from a major retailer and we are passing on the deals to you. Remo, Evans, Ludwig, and others are listed.

You will see sizes from 8" to 28", smooth white to clear to pinstripe to coated. Batter and resonant heads. Bass heads. Tympani heads, too.

Many are only $5.00 plus S&H. Some are $7.00 plus S&H and others $10.00 to $30.00 plus S&H.

These are all new heads, never mounted. The packaging was not A-1 so the major name store felt they couldn't sell for a profit. In turn they allowed us to obtain them to raise money for percussion equipment needed for education and community percussion ensemble group.

Buying these heads will go to help kids get involved in percussion programs.

Thank you for your interest in helping us help young drummers of the future.

Click here to see our current list and how to order.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Percussion Night At Frederick Community College

It doesn't get any better than this! 3 clinics. 3 artists. ALL FREE!!!
Greg Herron, Ray Sword and Frank Gonzalez will present many different topics on percussion and they will team up to perform a three movement chart by Armand Russell titled Percussion Suite. You will also get to see and perform with the FCC Percussion Ensemble.

This clinic is supported by Promark drumsticks, Music & Arts Center and Frederick Community College.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Percussion Ensemble Clinic to be held at Frederick Community College

Frederick Community College's Percussion Ensemble will be having a Percussion clinic open to all on March 20th, 2009 rom 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

Greg Herron, Percussion professor, and Ray Sword, private percussion instructor at Music & Arts, has teamed together to present a percussion ensemble clinic for all of those interested. The clinic will include a discussion, a demonstration by the college's percussion students and then an all out hands on for everyone.

There is no fee for this event. Just bring an open mind, pencil and paper.

Directions, Maps & Parking

Frederick Community College, 7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, Maryland, 21702, is centrally located in the state and about an hour outside Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The modern campus is just minutes off several well-traveled thoroughfares.

From Baltimore: Follow I-70 from Baltimore to Frederick. Exit onto Route 15 north. Follow 15 north to Motter Avenue exit. Turn right onto Motter/Opossumtown Pike. Travel one mile and turn left at entrance to FCC.

From Washington: Follow I-270 northwest from Washington to the junction with I-70 and Route 15. Follow Route 15 north to the Motter Avenue exit. Turn right onto Motter/Opossumtown Pike. Travel one mile and turn left at the entrance to FCC.

From the west: Follow I-70 east from Hagerstown. Take the first Frederick exit to Route 40. Follow Route 40 east to Route 15 junction. Follow Route 15 north to Motter Avenue. Turn right onto Motter/Opossumtown Pike. Travel one mile and turn left at entrance to FCC.

From Anchorage: This obviously would be a really long drive so we suggest you fly instead. We encourage you to take classes online.

From San Francisco: Head east, otherwise you'll run directly into the Pacific Ocean. Depending on your route and sightseeing habits, allow 3 to 5 travel days. Credit classes are out of the question, so consider our one-time continuing education courses, art exhibits or concerts. An online class in Cultural Geography (GG 102) or History of the United States (HI 201), will broaden your travel experience.

See you there.

Ray Sword
Drum Instructor @ Music & Arts